Older adults, retirement and divorce

Older couples in Michigan who are considering getting a divorce may be wondering how the process may impact their retirement. The rate for gray divorces, or divorces that take place among adults who are at least 50 years old, is twice what it was in the 1990s, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

Divorces that occur later in life can jeopardize the successful retirement both spouses had planned. Both parties may have to subsist on half of the income that they had enjoyed before, while having to handle roughly the same amount of expenses. However, there are some proactive steps they can take to ensure that a divorce will not eliminate all chances of having a successful retirement.

It is important that people do not let their emotions rule when making decisions regarding financial matters. Getting a divorce can make individuals feel vulnerable, and they may spend money on items they cannot actually afford in an effort to feel more secure or stable. It is a good practice for older divorcing couples to be cautious when it comes to spending. Both parties should set aside time before starting to spend money in anticipation of their new lives to determine what they currently need and will need during their retirement. There are also many important financial documents both parties should keep on file. They may include insurance policies, tax returns from the last few years, credit card and bank statements, registration documentation for vehicles, and retirement account statements.

A family law attorney may work to protect the interests and rights of older clients who have unresolved divorce legal issues. In a high asset divorce, the attorney may litigate to ensure that a client is able to obtain favorable settlement terms regarding the division of valuable assets, such as a retirement account.